[Courtesy of Mark Drela, drela "at" mit.edu, Jan 2005 - web presentation by Tomer Jackman, Jackman_Tomer "at" EMC.com] Photos courtesy of Jeff Newcum
About the Bubble Dancer 3m Glider
Construction notes are included in the drawings, which
you can download as Acrobat v6 PDF documents in the links below. If
you need a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it free from
The "Bubble Dancer" RES glider is essentially a big brother of the Allegro-Lite, with a 120" span and 1000 in^2 wing area. The idea was to combine the composite Allegro's layout, some new thin airfoils, and a bit of off-the-shelf carbon. The object was to make a big first-class thermalling ship which could also tolerate wind and strong winching and that anyone could build. The target category was the increasingly popular RES class. Blaine Rawdon and Bill Watson also took part in the design, and the Allegro-Lite wood wing 2m glider was a prototype for this glider.
The design was optimized for ease of construction , resulting in a rather unique glider. At about 31 oz (880 gr) , it has a very low sink rate -- about 0.8 ft/s. A very big 2" x 36" spoiler gives good landing control like on the AL, and it can be seen thermalling very often from hand tosses.
Fuselage pod showing servo installation and radio gear, along with Wing saddle, spoiler extension and switch.
A view of the center section of the wing, with the spoiler closed.
Tail and V mount
Vertical tail and Horizontal all moving tail mounted on its V-mount.
Bubble Dancer Fuselage pod coordinates fuseBD.dat
Spar Layup (Acrobat PDF file)
Joiner (Acrobat PDF file)
Joiner Construction (Acrobat PDF file)
Making kevlar tubes for joiners. (Acrobat PDF file)
Rib sets for laser cutting - The DWG files here contain rib,
web, and LE sanding template patterns
Best of luck, and please let us know how you're doing with your Bubble Dancer!
January 15, 2004 - TJ